Article & Photo by Azadeh Shemirani
Sticking to a college budget and making healthy choices can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be ramen or pizza delivery every night. The key to having a healthy diet while juggling your academic and social activities can be accomplished with a little bit of planning.
- Take a look at your grocery store website for what is on sale for the week and try to plan your meals around sale items. Some stores have apps where you can save coupons directly to your phone to use at checkout time.
- Sign up for a savings card. It is free to sign up and you get discounts and rewards each time you shop.
- Have a realistic budget and stick to it. Avoid going over budget by keeping a running total on your phone calculator.
- Make a list before going the grocery store (leave some wiggle room for a meal or two if you know you will be eating out). If you have vegetables or canned goods that need to be used, plan meals around that. For example, if you have black beans and brown rice in your pantry, you can pick up some chicken, an avocado, and salsa and make your own burrito bowls for a couple of meals.
- Smaller meals throughout the day boost your metabolism, so if you know you won’t be home all day, pack snacks to eat throughout the day. Don’t fall victim to pre-packaged snacks that are filled with preservatives – pack your own! Easy snack ideas include hard boiled eggs, apple slices with almond butter, hummus and carrots, string cheese, or a banana.
- Cook a big meal at the beginning of the week (chili, soup, or enchiladas) and freeze portions for future meals.
Remember, balance is key so don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while!